ST Report: 12-Dec-97 #1349From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/24/97-01:54:11 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 12-Dec-97 #1349 Date: Wed Dec 24 13:54:11 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) December 12, 1997 No.1349 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.0? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 12/12/97 STR 1349 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Bryce 3D - Outpost 2 Review - CBS NEWS Reporting? - Ego Launched - NEW Staff Member - Mitnick Saga Continues - Lego Island - 58 million Net Users - Spawn is Back - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Judge's Ruling Bittersweet for DOJ X2/56KFlex Agreement Reached Amelio $6.7M Golden Parachute STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 12/06/97: three of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... This week's editorial is going to be short due to the frantic pace we've been following getting the preparations for the Holidays all in place. Not to mention all the decorating. Actually, I love the holidays. Last week we talked about the recipe manager, Recipe Box. Folks, I cannot find enough praise for this fine interactive recipe database. Elsewhere in this issue, as in the last issue, the details of the Recipe Box Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest are presented. Don't miss this nifty contest. The entrants prizes are copies of the complete Recipe Box program. Then, once you have the program there's at least a gazillion recipes at their website. http://www.recipe-box.com Don't hesitate, enter the contest. Send your favorite recipe for Holiday Cookies or treats. In the meantime. visit the website and find out all the great facts about the new version of Recipe Box 5.5. Incidently, and to the joy of many. the new version 5.5 now imports "meal-master" recipes. Another gazillion recipes are at your finger tips. It never ceases to amaze me as to how bad one-sided and biased the TV News reporting can be. Dan Rather (CBS) has to be about the worst at low- down biased reporting. Or, at least the station and its producers and managerial staff are. I've been watching Rather for quite some time. I found it "rather" amusing to see how well Rather & Co. had O.J. Simpson tried, convicted and just about in the Gas Chamber. Now the McVeigh/Nichols case is another great example of biased reporting. One could almost call what Rather is delivering every night is nothing more than a daily dose of propaganda. But from Whom? And Why? So far. the very best or, should I say the most disgusting proliferation of biased reporting occurred tonight. Would you believe. Rather had the nerve the yap about the recent court decision which seemingly appeared to be against Microsoft. According to Rather. Microsoft's Bill Gates was thoroughly "straightened out" by the court decision. CBS's Rather or, his bosses conveniently left out the fact that the "decision" was temporary. affected only the manner in which the browser was offered. The decision didn't touch upon the agreements between MS and its OEM contract partners. The decision had no affect whatsoever upon the new, yet to be released, Win98 even though Win95's "successors" were mentioned. This is due to the manner in which Win98 is structured. He also didn't mention that the DOJ's fervent wish to fine MS was also struck down. All in all, if anything the DOJ got a great deal less out of this latest witch hunt than appears. However according to CBS & Rather this was a major victory for the DOJ. Right Dan. NEXT!! Lastly, Rather failed to also point out the FACT that Microsoft is a major part of a direct competitor NBC (MSNBC). CBS News its producers and Rather should be brought up on the carpet for slanted, misleading and opinionated reporting. I am honestly disappointed, somehow it appears to me that Rather and CBS News are trying hard to trample to death a public trust. No, I don't mind if this editorial is sent to Rather, CBS & Co. They really should be required to answer for their actions or, should I say the lack thereof. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Randy Noak Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet email@example.com STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson 'Dataholism' Is on the Rise? A new survey suggests a generation of "dataholics" is on the rise, craving evermore information, especially from computers and the Internet. The international survey of 1,000 business people, commissioned by the Reuter News Service, has found 53 percent of the respondents admitted to craving information and 54 percent claiming to get a "high" when they find what they have been seeking in an electronic search. Reporting from London, Reuters reporter Susan Cornwell adds, "At the same time they often feel overwhelmed by all the information at their disposal, and worry that their children are turning into info-junkies too. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said their children already prefer computers to their peers." Called "Glued to the Screen: An investigation into information addiction worldwide," the survey is based on interviews with people in Britain, the United States, Ireland, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong, Cornwell says. Psychologist Mark Griffiths, a senior lecturer at Nottingham Tent University, commented on the survey by asking, "Is information the drug of the nineties? Have we become fact-fanatics and info-junkies? There is a very fine line between having enough information and getting too much. This report reveals a clear linkage between Internet abuse, data accumulation and information addiction." However, Reuters spokesman Paul Waddington says he thinks information-gathering in itself was not the problem, adding, "It's a problem when it starts to affect the way people perform in business, and in the way it affects their home life. When people are spending three or four hours on the Internet, clearly it is not good for productivity at work, and the same thing is true at home." Other findings of the survey: z 80 percent of respondents felt driven to gather as much information as possible to keep up with customers and competitors. z Over half of them felt unable to handle all the information that they accumulated. z 97 percent believed their companies would benefit from information management training. z Eighty-six percent believed schools and colleges should be doing more to prepare children to deal effectively with information. Waddington said, "I don't think this is an argument in favor of the Luddite view of technology. It is to support the effective use of technology, and not to have time wasted by fruitless browsing." In addition, he said, the results reflect the fact that the Internet is very disorganized. He said 300 of those surveyed were parents. Of this group, 36 percent worried that their children were over-exposed to information. However, "if the children had their heads buried in the Encyclopaedia Britannia, they wouldn't worry at all," Waddington commented. "They are concerned that what their children are doing online isn't productive or helping their development." Reuters notes the research is a followup to last year's report that found "an increasing number of people suffer ill health due to the stress of information overload." Online Users Claim Higher Incomes The median household income of online users is $62,100 versus $34,510 for non-users, according to a new survey conducted by the Simmons Market Research Bureau. The company, based in New York, reports that online users tend to be split evenly between men (51 percent) and women (49 percent), and have graduated college or have post graduate education (43 percent). Almost one third (11.9 million) of online users have made a purchase online during the last 12 months, spending an average of $800 per year, reports Simmons. The survey also finds that computer-related software and hardware top the list of purchases at work and home followed by travel related items, including airline tickets and hotel/motel reservations. Forty-one percent of online users are likely to make a purchase online during the next 12 months. "It is clear that the Internet has emerged as a fundamental information medium and a thorough understanding of it and its users is essential in today's competitive marketplace," says Ellen Romer, vice president of custom research at Simmons. The overwhelming majority (95 percent) of online users have used online services within the past 30 days, with 32 percent spending more than 30 hours online, according to the study. During weekdays, users are most likely to go online between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (15.3 million), followed closely by users who go online between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (14.4 million). Weekend hours are similar, finds the study. Other findings: z Most users access Internet and online services from their homes (80 percent) or from their workplace (65 percent), while many others dial in from a friend's house (21 percent), their school (17 percent) and their community library (12 percent). z News Web sites were visited by 46 percent in the last 6 months followed by computing sites (44 percent), entertainment (42 percent) and newspapers (40 percent). z Online technology has changed the way consumers obtain information on products and services (56 percent). z As a result of online usage, 30 percent of survey respondents are spending less time reading books, magazines or newspapers. Work-at-Home Concept Catches Fire The work-at-home concept continues to grow rapidly, finds a new study released by IDC/LINK. According to the Framingham, Massachusetts, market research firm, the number of home office households now stands at 34.7 million, up 15.6 percent annually from 1995. Unlike past years, when home-based businesses were critical in expanding the number of home workers, 1997 has been the year of the corporate home worker, notes Raymond Boggs, director of IDC/LINK's home office program. Telecommuters and after-hours workers grew in record numbers over the past 12 months, and for the first time now outnumber those running a business from home. According to Boggs, corporate home working has become a way of life for more and more people. "Whether you're answering company e-mail from home in the evening or working one day a week as a telecommuter, it's clear the home has become an extension of the office." Boggs says that as companies continue to fine-tune their organizational structures, working at home will becomes increasingly important as a productivity tool for professional staffs at all levels. In contrast, the strong U.S. economy has actually helped slow the growth of income-generating home offices. IDC/LINK research indicates successful home offices are expanding beyond the home to operate in commercial space as true small businesses. The company's latest survey indicates 25 percent of all small companies began as home-based businesses. IDC/LINK's study also finds that technology advances continue to ease the financial and psychological burdens of working at home. It notes that the latest personal computing and communications products mean home office workers often have the same resources available as those on the corporate campus. Mail Boxes Etc. Selects Explorer Microsoft Corp. reports that Mail Boxes Etc. has selected Internet Explorer 4.0 as its browser software of choice for Internet access. Microsoft says MBE chose Internet Explorer because of its useful features, including customization and personalization. The world's largest franchiser of retail service centers specializing in business, postal and communications services will make Internet Explorer available to customers at computer workstations in participating MBE centers. MBE's goal is to have 2,000 in-center computer workstations placed in North America within the upcoming calendar year. Mail Boxes Etc. will also use Internet Explorer in MBE Business Express, a joint venture product with USA Technologies Inc. Launched last month, the self-serve business centers provide users with access to Internet Explorer at convenient locations throughout the U.S. MBE Business Express features 24-hour, credit-card-activated business systems for workers and consumers who need quick access to personal computers with Internet and e-mail access, printers, copiers and fax machines. "Microsoft is excited to work with companies like Mail Boxes Etc., which are committed to bringing the power of the Web to new users in convenient and cost-effective ways," says Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for Microsoft's applications and Internet client group. "By making Internet Explorer available, Mail Boxes Etc. will provide its customers with the easiest and fastest solution for accessing the vast amounts of information on the Internet." "Mail Boxes Etc. is committed to providing services tailored to the needs of small-business workers and road warriors," says James H. Amos Jr., president and CEO of Mail Boxes Etc. "Having Internet access available at MBE centers and in other convenient locations is particularly important to today's workers. We anticipate additional uses for Microsoft Internet Explorer as we continue to develop technology-based services for our customers." New Reading Machine Debuts A new stand-alone reading machine for people who are blind or visually impaired is now available from Adaptive Products Inc. Adaptive, a Xerox Corp. subsidiary based in Peabody, Massachusetts, notes that its new $3,395 Expert Reader converts text from documents into high-quality speech. The product uses the same Optical Character Recognition technology employed in Xerox's TextBridge Pro 98 software. "Expert Reader gives users the ability to scan and read a wide range of printed material including books, magazines, and other complex documents, "notes a company statement. "It also allows users to read while a new page is scanning or to scan in multiple pages or documents to be stored andread at a later time." The unit incorporates a legal size scanner. "Xerox Adaptive Products has a long history of designing reading machines that expand and extend the technology while dramatically lowering price, "says Nancy Gustavesen, Adaptive's director of marketing. More details are available on Adaptive Products' Web site at http://www.adaptiveproducts.com. White House Invites Logo Design A contest in the search for a logo for the millennium has been announced by the White House Millennium Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, with connections to the Internet. Council officials told The Associated Press the winning design should reflect such themes as the rekindling of democracy, renewing a commitment to citizenship and unleashing "the full creativity and intellectual potential of the American people as we chart our common future." Adds the council, "The logo may be used for the White House celebration and should allow for specific language and design to be added to the base package to specifically commemorate this anniversary." AP says the contest is open to all American citizens and U.S. residents, including professional designers. A panel of professional designers will choose the final design. Its creator will receive a professional fee. For entry specifications, see the National Endowment's Internet site (http://arts.endow.gov) or call 1-202-682-5013. Entries must addressed to National Endowment for the Arts, Room 523, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20506-0001. They must be postmarked by Jan. 15. Cheap PCs No Help to PC Makers This holiday season, PC manufacturers are offering consumers a full-featured PC priced under $1,000 for the first time. But while lower prices will bring more buyers, it is unlikely that the sub-$1,000 PC will attract the large number of new customers that PC manufacturers need to see. Odyssey research finds that lower prices are unlikely to lure enough consumers who had not already planned to purchase a PC. The data indicates that a maximum of 1.5 million more PCs will be sold at the sub-$1,000 price than would have been sold at traditional, higher prices. According to Odyssey President Nick Donatiello, the success of the sub-$1,000 PC depends on its ability to attract new customers, since the lower price point necessitates greater sales volume to make up for reduced profitability. These numbers, then, should cause concern among PC manufacturers and PC retailers. "There is no doubt that these new systems are selling. The PC does not defy the laws of economics; lower the price and more will be sold. But it's clear that PC manufacturers won't be able to attract enough new customers to compensate for the reduced profit margin." Value not price is the primary sales driver, adds Donatiello. "When it comes to PCs, more consumers want the latest technology, protection from quick obsolescence, and computers that are easy to use than want just a low price." Odyssey's research reveals that consumers would prefer to pay more for a PC with the latest technology than spend less on a PC that might not perform as fast or be able to run new software programs that come out a few years from now. In fact, 69 percent of consumers said they would rather pay extra for the latest options; only 20 percent of respondents preferred the lower cost option. And, since Odyssey research indicates that consumers who are extremely likely to purchase a PC this holiday season expect to spend an average of $1,999, the sub-$1,000 PC may be little more than a thorn in the side of manufacturers and retailers. "Many consumers walking into the store expecting to pay $1,999 are going to walk out having paid under $1,000. Most probably won't even know they bought year-old technology, and they'll be happy. Not so for manufacturers and retailers," says Donatiello. "All they are doing is lowering the average sales price. They will not attract enough new customers to make that reduction worthwhile." Mitsubishi Ships WebTV System Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America Inc. has entered the WebTV market with the WB-2000 WebTV Plus Receiver, which began shipping to dealers on Thursday. The product allows TV viewers to access World Wide Web subscription services provided by WebTV Networks Inc. Combined with a television and a telephone line, the $379 WB-2000 WebTV Plus Receiver is designed to provide seamless TV and Internet content integration. The unit incorporates a 1.1GB hard drive, a 56K bps modem using Rockwell K56flex technology, a built-in TV tuner with "picture-in-picture" capability and a printer port. Mitsubishi is also bundling a wireless keyboard and an infrared remote control with the terminal. WebTV Networks is offering a $100 rebate on purchases of WebTV systems for customers who purchase a WebTV unit by Dec. 31, and sign up for six months of service. Online Virus Encyclopedia Debuts Symantec Corp. says it has created the world's largest online encyclopedia of computer viruses. The site -- www.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html -- features more than 10,000 comprehensive virus descriptions developed by the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC). The Cupertino, California, software publisher says the encyclopedia can serve as a valuable resource for a company's MIS department, for small business owners or for anyone who uses the Internet and experiences frequent virus attacks. "Computer viruses are a big mystery to a large number of people today," says Alex Haddox, product manager for the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center. "The SARC encyclopedia, as well as the entire SARC site, provides a vast resource on computer viruses and ways to combat them. Educating the public on the real threat of computer viruses is a strong component of the SARC charter." In addition to descriptions of individual computer viruses, the encyclopedia also gives a detailed overview of computer viruses in general, the different types of computer viruses, virus threats specific to the Macintosh platform and various virus hoaxes. The encyclopedia also provides a direct connection to SARC, where "Norton AntiVirus" users can download free virus definitions. The encyclopedia will be updated every month as definitions and descriptions for new viruses are created. Group Reaches Modem Standard A compromise on the two competing standards for speedy 56K modems has been reached by an international body, an action that could produce a single standard early next year. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Frederick Rose notes the compromise was reached by a working committee of the International Telecommunications Union, an arm of the United Nations, and could end the bitter fight that pitted opposing groups led by 3Com Corp. and Rockwell International Corp. "The decision won't become final until a series of formal steps are taken that are expected to take many months," Rose writes, "but for the dozens of companies involved in the yearlong dispute, the preliminary agreement hammered out at an Orlando, Florida, hotel near Disney World removes a major roadblock for the latest generation of modems, which transmit through ordinary telephone lines at speeds known in computer jargon as 56K, or close to 56,000 data bits per second." As reported earlier, 3Com and the U.S. Robotics division it acquired early this year for $6 billion have been feuding with Rockwell's semiconductor division over conflicting standards for this new generation of modems. "At stake," Rose comments, "is a potential worldwide market of as many as 100 million of the mechanisms that connect computers through phone lines. With neither side giving way on the 56K battle, the computer world has been divided between incompatible transmission techniques: 3Com, the world's largest modem maker, called its 'X2,' and an alliance led by Rockwell, the world's largest maker of computer chips for modems made by others, called its 'K56 flex.'" The newly emerging international standard encompasses technical details from both transmission techniques. Major contributions also came from Lucent Technologies Inc. and Motorola Inc., Rose reports, adding, "Moreover, the proposed new standard contains new technical capabilities that enable better communications over certain phone lines." Also, the Journal predicts the emerging standard "likely will slow the descent of modem prices, which have plummeted as modem makers struggled to convince wary consumers to choose between competing, incompatible equipment." Says the paper, with the new standard, it is expected that most 56K modems made this year can be upgraded relatively simply through the insertion of new software. Net Faxing to Become Commonplace New research from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Internet will gradually become the medium of choice for faxing. In 1997, according to Frost & Sullivan research, fax traffic using the Internet protocol is projected to reach 5.9 million minutes per day. Traffic is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 98 percent to 89.6 million minutes per day by the end of 2001. "The cost-effectiveness associated with IP faxing as well as the increasing ubiquity of IP networks will precipitate this growth," says Francois Eric de Repentigny, Frost & Sullivan's telecommunications Industry analyst "Most of the growth in IP faxing will take place over the Internet rather than on X.25 and frame relay networks." More information on Frost and Sullivan research is available on the Web at http://www.frost.com. CompuServe Debuts Radio Shows CompuServe Corp. is delivering a new twist to online radio talk shows, offering a unique Internet experience that combines real-time interactivity and messaging through CompuServe's Forum areas. CompuServe Interactive Radio, part of CompuServe's new "C from CompuServe" Internet-based product launching later this year, gives Internet users the opportunity to hear featured guests, celebrities andexperts from many areas of interest discuss important issues and events. For CSi members, there is an added dimension: members can interact directly with other CSi members, call up information from a related CSi Forum or database and even interact with the show host while listening to a broadcast. CompuServe has teamed with Hollywood Hotline, long-time information provider for CSi, to offer "Stein Online," the first program on CompuServe Interactive Radio. Eliot Stein, with more than 10 years experience in talk radio, brings his expertise to the Internet as host of "Stein Online." Stein's guests will discuss a wide variety of topics including entertainment, politics, business, science and technology andcurrent events. A segment of each program will be devoted to a CompuServe Forum. "Eliot Stein brings the success of his years of experience in the online industry to CompuServe Interactive Radio, and will be a major contributor to CompuServe's strong presence on the Internet," says Alex Nikifortchuk, arts and entertainment community manager at CompuServe. "CompuServe Interactive Radio and 'C from CompuServe' give us the opportunity to showcase what we do best on CSi, our interactive Forum areas and online Communities, to Internet users worldwide." "Stein Online" will be broadcast Monday through Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. EST. Programs on CompuServe Interactive Radio will be presented in RealAudio format, which permits users to tune in while performing other computer-based tasks simultaneously. Audionet, a premium provider of audio programming and services, will provide facilities for netcasting. Programs will be archived for 90 days for on-demand access after the live broadcast. CompuServe Interactive Radio can be accessed through CompuServe's Web site at www.compuserve.com/cir. RealAudio players can be downloaded at no charge from the RealAudio site at www.realaudio.com. 'C From CompuServe' Free Trial Set CompuServe Corp.'s new "C from CompuServe" Internet-based product will debut later this month with a free trial membership period. For two months following the product's introduction, U.S. and Canadian Internet users will be able to enjoy full access to CompuServe's Forum areas on more than 600 work and lifestyle topics, as well as enhanced POP3 e-mail service, with no monthly fee. Users will be responsible for any purchases of products made through "C." Company officials say the initial sign-up date will be announced soon. "The free trial membership period is designed to help us build audience faster, by giving Internet users a risk-free way to explore what PC Magazine called 'the most tightly focused discussions groups of any online service,' and 'the greatest depth of content in the online world,'" says Sam Uretsky, vice president of business management for CompuServe. After the trial membership ends, users can choose to remain a full member or continue to access "C" as a guest with limited privileges. The company says it will announce pricing for the full membership level during the trial period, giving members a 30-day period of time to choose their membership level and act accordingly. Current CSi members will continue to have full membership privileges to "C from CompuServe" for no additional fee after the trial period ends. Amelio Got $6.7M Severance Pay Word is Apple Computer Inc. paid former chairman/CEO Gilbert Amelio a severance package of about $6.7 million in connection with his resignation. The New York Times reported this morning the payment was disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. Also, said the paper, the severance pay agreement was dated Sept. 22, more than three months after Amelio's ouster from the computer maker. The Times added the lump-sum payment was on top of Amelio's salary of nearly $1 million and a $1 million bonus for the year. Argentine Admits Harvard Hack An Argentine computerist has agreed to come to Boston and plead guilty to charges he broke into a Harvard University computer to gain access to U.S. military documents. The Associated Press quotes a federal prosecutor as saying that more than a year ago law enforcement agents tracked down and charged Julio Cesar Ardita, a 23-year-old computer science student and son of a former Argentine military officer. A judge in Buenos Aires ordered his computer and files seized. "However," adds the wire service, "because the charges were not extraditable offenses under U.S.-Argentine treaties, Ardita had to admit the crimes and waive extradition." Now, under an agreement made public by U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern, Ardita voluntarily will come to the U.S. and plead guilty to unlawfully intercepting electronic communications over a military computer and damaging files on a military computer. He will be sentenced to three years probation and fined $5,000. Amy Rindskopf, a spokeswoman for Stern, says Ardita will be brought to the United States within 90 days, adding the case was the first in which a court-ordered wiretap on a computer network was used in this country to solve a federal case, Stern and Attorney General Janet Reno said when Ardita was charged in 1995. Authorities say that while Ardita accessed sensitive information on satellites, radiation and energy, none was vital to national security. They add Ardita broke into the Harvard computer first in August 1995, stole passwords from some of its 16,500 legitimate users and used the Harvard computer as a platform to penetrate military, NASA and other university computers, as well as computers in Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile and Brazil. Yahoo Hacked, Threat Posted Intruders briefly cracked security at the popular Yahoo web site earlier this week, posting a message saying they would unleash a computer virus unless authorities free an imprisoned comrade, famed computer invader Kevin Mitnick. Writing from San Francisco, veteran computer reporter Therese Poletti of the Reuter News Service says the group of invaders broke into the Yahoo web site and released an electronic mail message late on Monday where it was visible by only a small percentage of users, with text-based Web browsers. Yahoo Inc. spokeswoman Diane Hunt told the wire service the company learned of the message within minutes of it being posted about 10 p.m. Eastern Time. Yahoo immediately checked for the virus, Hunt said. "There wasn't any damage. There is no virus," she said. "We deleted everything ... everything was restored in 15 minutes." Hunt added it is not possible to have a virus in a document that it written in the HTML (hypertext mark-up) programming language. Poletti says the Mountain View, California-based Yahoo's electronic monitoring system indicated something was wrong and engineers at Yahoo, including co-founder David Filo, worked quickly to discover that someone had invaded their system, but emphasized again that there was no virus. Identity of the intruders, who called themselves the PANTS/HAGIS Alliance, is not known. Poletti says the name of the group was spelled several different ways, including "P4NTZ/H4GiS." (Hunt said it appears the HAGIS part of the acronym stood for "Hackers Against Geeks in Snowsuits.") Yahoo says it has been contacted by authorities in conjunction with the incident but declined further comment on any government investigations. The invaders' electronic mail posting said, "For the past month, anyone who has viewed Yahoo's page and used their search engine, now has a logic bomb/worm implanted deep within their computer." It added that on Christmas Day, "the logic bomb part of the virus will become active, wreaking havoc upon the entire planet's networks. The virus can be stopped. But not by mortals. An antidote program has been written." Poletti says the message also said the federal government will be notified of the immediate location of the antidote program upon the immediate release of Mitnick, who was once listed as the world's most wanted computer vandal by the FBI. As reported, Mitnick is alleged to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers by breaking into an Internet access provider's Web server. He has been in prison since 1995 awaiting trial. Poletti reports Mitnick's supporters have set up a web site (http://www.kevinmitnick.com) to raise a legal defense fund. While Yahoo officials dismiss the intruders' threat of a virus, Jonathan Wheat, manager of the Anti-Virus Lab at the National Computer Security Association, told Associated Press writer Chris Allbritton it is theoretically possible to exploit security flaws on the Internet and implant such a malicious program. Nonetheless, Wheat also said this group of invaders already is known to security experts and that he personally doubts they are serious in their threats. Jamonn Campbell, an information security analyst at the same security organization, agreed, telling Allbritton the threat was "pretty much ridiculous." He said the group is known for its pranks. Meanwhile, Patrick McKenna of the Newsbytes computer news service quotes Yahoo spokeswoman Hunt as saying, "In a way this is a hoax. While they did get into the system and post the message, they did not plant any viruses or bombs or corrupt any data. The good news is all our security alarms worked and we were able to deal with this problem within minutes." She also confirmed for Newsbytes that the message could not be read by the majority of Yahoo's 17.2 million users. Said Hunt, "We use a table system at Yahoo and the hacker message was not in a table. Only users accessing Yahoo with a Lynx browser, one capable of reading non-table text, could see this message." Eight Nations to Fight Cybercrime Law enforcement officials from eight industrialized nations have agreed on broad principles and a specific action plan to improve their ability to fight international computer crimes. Speaking at the opening session of a two-day Washington summit with 15 top officials from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said, "Twenty-first century technologies are going to change how we live, and make many things easier, but computers and networks are also opening up anew frontier of crime." Associated Press writer Cassandra Burrell says the participants have agreed to cooperate more closely to catch high-tech criminals who lie, cheat and steal through global computer networks. Reno noted criminals no longer are restricted by national boundaries, adding, "For instance, we know now that a criminal can sit in one country and disrupt a computer system in another country thousands of miles away. If we are to keep up with cybercrime, we must work together as never before." The justice and interior ministers at the meeting agreed on a general plan to: z Include more computer training for law enforcement personnel in each country. z Establish high-tech contacts that will be available to officials in each country on a 24-hour basis. z Develop faster ways to trace attacks coming through computer networks. z Devote more time and resources to crimes committed by international criminals who escape extradition. z Preserve important information on computer networks, which can store evidence that can easily be altered or destroyed. ("In taking this step," Reno commented, "information will be less likely to be tampered with by criminals or erased by routine system update procedures.") z Review their legal systems and update laws to make sure they adequately address electronic crime. z Work with the computer industry to devise new ways to detect, prevent and punish computer crime. z Make greater use of new technologies, such as "video links," which could enable law enforcement officials to obtain testimony from witnesses thousands of miles away. Bernstein Case on Appeal Government controls on distribution of computer encryption code is an unlawful prior restraint of free speech, lawyers for university professor Daniel Bernstein argued before a federal appeals court in San Francisco yesterday. However, a government attorney countered that the software in question --an encryption problem designed by Bernstein, a professor at the University of Illinois -- is a sensitive product and that its distribution should be limited by the government. Covering the closely watched case that pits national security interests against the right to free speech, reporter Greg Frost of the Reuter News Service says the central issue is whether Bernstein's encryption software constitutes a form of speech and should therefore be protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As reported earlier, yesterday's hearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was prompted after U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled in August that the Constitution prevented the government from placing export restrictions on the code. The government has appealed. Bernstein sued several government agencies in 1995 after he was told that he would need to be licensed as an arms dealer to post his software encryption code, called Snuffle 5.0, on the Internet. His attorney, Cindy Cohn, contends Snuffle is an expression of free speech and should be protected from the kind of scheme that the government uses to regulate code, adding, "The basic flaw with the government's position is that they use a pre-publication licensing scheme. That's exactly the point -- when the government sets up a bureaucrat to decide who gets to speak and who does not, that's a form of prior restraint." Reuters says a decision by the court could come at any time over the next few weeks. Web Privacy Guidelines Advanced A voluntary code of conduct to protect the privacy of people who visit Web sites is being advanced by a group of leading technology manufacturers. A list of principles has been unveiled by the Information Technology Industry Council in response to President Clinton's call for industry to protect privacy through self-regulation. Reporter Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News Service says the principles also are intended, according to council president Rhett Dawson, to give consumers "confidence and trust" that privacy rights will be respected when they engage in electronic commerce. Members of the council include like Dell Computer Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Intel Corp. and Motorola Inc. as well as manufacturers of related equipment, like AMP Inc. and Lexmark International Group Inc. The guidelines recommend: z A company should notify consumers of what personal data is being collected and allow them some degree of choice over how data is used. z Technological solutions should be employed, "enabling individual data providers to exercise choice and control over their personal data." z Companies should limit data collected to that needed for valid business reasons and ensure its accuracy and security. z Individuals should use their powers of choice in the marketplace to safeguard their personal data and that of the children. Pressman notes the guidelines are not binding on the council's 31 members, adding each company will enact its own privacy standards using the guidelines as a starting point. "This is entirely voluntary at this point," Dawson said. Adds Reuters, "Privacy advocates cited the lack of enforcement mechanisms as a critical failure and a justification for new laws to protect privacy on the Internet." Says director Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, "The question is whether people using the Internet and people participating in the online economy will have the assurance that their privacy will be protected. I don't see how voluntary guidelines without enforcement mechanisms are going to accomplish that goal. At some time, you have to stop public relations and you have to start privacy protection." Countering, Dawson says a free market would allow consumers to avoid Websites with inadequate privacy protections, adding, "More importantly than some enforcement mechanism that I could conjure up, I think the marketplace is going to make a lot more powerful statement." Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain says he will review the ITIC efforts, calling the privacy principles "a good first step," and saying he is "pleased the industry took it upon itself to attempt to deal with this important issue." Reuters says one aspect of the guidelines that could draw fire from the White House and Capitol Hill concerns the protection of children's privacy. "In July," notes the wire service, "Clinton said protecting children, who might be unable to make 'informed choices' about revealing personal information, could justify some legislation. The new guidelines recommend only that parents teach their children appropriate behavior." A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents New Digital TV Software From Intel May End Format Wars Speeding Up Learning Can Cause "Technostress" New IBM Institute Focuses On E-Commerce Moore Donates $1.5 Million To Oregon Institute Companies Count On Quick Payoffs With E-Commerce TI Announces Advances In Copper Circuit Control Meditating On Microsoft Global Talks On Encryption Western Governors U. To Offer Classes Next Month Modem Makers Reach Agreement On Standards Former Novell Chief Launches "Ego" For Small Businesses Encryption Case Argued In Federal Court SREB To Offer College Degrees By Internet Industry Group Advocates Privacy Safeguards Technology Partnership Causing Stir At Cal State Seven Countries Unite In Fight Against Cybercrime Sun Activator Melts Microsoft Java Threat Nielsen Pegs Internet Users At 58 Million U S West And Time Warner In Bid To Offer Cable Net Access Ameritech And Microsoft To Offer High-Speed Internet Access Vandal Posts Ransom Note On Yahoo Do Cell Phones Affect Learning? NEW DIGITAL TV SOFTWARE FROM INTEL MAY END FORMAT WARS Intel Corporation has developed software, which (using a format converter developed by Hitachi) will allow PCs to receive digital, high-definition TV signals in any of 18 display formats set out in the digital television plans established by broadcasters and TV manufacturers. Until now, Intel (and its allies Compaq and Microsoft) have been insisting that PC manufacturers could not hold prices down if their products had to be able to receive all 18 display formats. A Hitachi executive declared the PC/TV format wars over: "With the converter, you can have a production in high-definition and watch a converted signal on a computer, and it will look fine." (New York Times 5 Dec 97) SPEEDING UP LEARNING CAN CAUSE "TECHNOSTRESS" "Technostress" authors Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen say that the tendency of businesses to offer technology training via short, immersive workshops is usually not the best way to teach a technical skill. Rosen maintains that learning technology is a different process than learning many other kinds of things: "You must have time to explore and play. You learn it in much the same way a 2-year-old learns things -- through repetition and asking a lot of questions. The goal of training programs is to get employees to say, 'Aha! Now I get it.' ... Think back to the seventh grade and what it was like learning geometry. The concepts might not have been easy. But if you'd ask the teacher to display the concept visually, for example, you had a better chance of getting it." (Investor's Business Daily 8 Dec 97) NEW IBM INSTITUTE FOCUSES ON E-COMMERCE IBM's new Institute for Advanced Commerce -- envisioned as a research partnership between industry and academia -- will concentrate on research projects related to global electronic commerce, including information economies, cyber-auctions and electronic checks. The Institute -- funded initially with a $10 million grant -- "is our way of making a strong statement to the world, and especially to the academic community, that electronic commerce is becoming a discipline worthy of study," says a general manager of IBM's Internet Division. (Wall Street Journal 5 Dec 97) MOORE DONATES $1.5 MILLION TO OREGON INSTITUTE Intel chairman emeritus Gordon Moore and his wife have given the Oregon Graduate Institute a $1.5-million challenge grant; the school has until the end of March 1998 to match it, and intends to solicit another $3 from local industry over the next three years. "Oregon is a major high-tech center. As such, it needs a world-class graduate institute. Education and high-tech are strongly interrelated; it is important not only to supply new students, but also to refresh the knowledge and skills of students who are already operating as employees in industry," says Moore. Intel employs around 10,000 people in the state, which is the site of the company's largest operation. OGI says the company has donated more than $2.5 million during the past four years. (EE Times 5 Dec 97) COMPANIES COUNT ON QUICK PAYOFFS WITH E-COMMERCE A new study by CMP Research and Sage Research predicts that electronic commerce among large and mid-size companies will grow more than 50% in the next year, with 64% of the current and future users anticipating recouping their investments within a year. Only about 18% expect to lose money in their electronic ventures. (Information Week 1 Dec 97) TI ANNOUNCES ADVANCES IN COPPER CIRCUIT CONTROL Texas Instruments says it's found a better way to control the very tiny circuits on computer chips that are linked by copper. Researchers have experimented with combining an insulating material called xerogel with the copper, making the electric signals more controllable. One of the problems that engineers have faced as they shrink the distance between circuits on a chip is that electrons can sometimes behave erratically, crossing to a circuit where they shouldn't. (Wall Street Journal 5 Dec 97) MEDITATING ON MICROSOFT The judge hearing the Justice Department's charges that Microsoft violated the 1995 consent decree between Microsoft and the government listened to 90 minutes of oral arguments and then decided to think things over for awhile, without indicating when he might issue a ruling or whether he will hold additional hearings. (Washington Post 6 Dec 97) GLOBAL TALKS ON ENCRYPTION Members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- a policy think-tank of 29 major governments -- are meeting in Paris to discuss the use and export controls of encryption technology. Lined up on one side are the U.S. and France, which are advocating stringent laws governing the export of encryption technology, as well as assurances that domestic law enforcement officials will have access to the code-cracking key. On the other side are more liberal nations, such as Japan and the Scandinavian countries, which believe strong encryption controls will only serve to harm electronic commerce. The Paris meeting follows on the heels of a recent OECD-sponsored conference in Finland, which called for greater public-private partnership in resolving issues surrounding e-commerce, and concluded that government action should be "precise, minimal and transparent." (TechWeb 8 Dec 97) WESTERN GOVERNORS U. TO OFFER CLASSES NEXT MONTH After two years of planning, the Western Governors University will begin offering its first electronic classes next month. First on the roster are two degrees: a general associate's degree and one focusing on semiconductor manufacturing technology. University officials met last week with representatives of four regional accrediting agencies, which will work together to evaluate the new institution. (Chronicle of Higher Education 12 Dec 97) MODEM MAKERS REACH AGREEMENT ON STANDARDS The battle over technical standards for 56-Kbps modems appears to be over, with rival camps tentatively agreeing to a compromise between 3Com's X2 and Rockwell International's K56flex technologies. The new international standard, approved by an International Telecommunication Union working committee, incorporates details from both transmission techniques, leaving both sides claiming victory: "Everybody is a net winner in this one," says an analyst at a modem-market tracking firm. With a new standard in place, it is expected that most 56K modems made this year can be upgraded fairly simply through the addition of new software. (Wall Street Journal 8 Dec 97) FORMER NOVELL CHIEF LAUNCHES "EGO" FOR SMALL BUSINESSES A Santa Clara, Calif. start-up company headed by former Novell CEO Bob Frankenberg has unveiled its first product -- a software/hardware/services system for setting up an electronic commerce Web site. Dubbed "ego" (with a small "e"), the system is designed for anyone with a basic knowledge of PCs and some Internet exposure. "When you take the box home, you hook it to your PC, the software starts up, and it asks you 20 questions," says Frankenberg. "You fill in your company name, address, a description of your business and other data. The box will generate a Web site for you and configure an e-mail server for up to 25 people." Set-up should take less than 30 minutes, and the system includes a firewall and a Java Virtual Machine to add applets to Web pages. Ego, made by Encanto Networks Inc., will carry a base price of $995. (Investor's Business Daily 9 Dec 97) ENCRYPTION CASE ARGUED IN FEDERAL COURT The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the government's appeal of a 1996 lower court ruling that government attempts to impede the export of encryption software were unconstitutional. The case involved an academic named Daniel J. Bernstein who was told that in order to use the Internet to send to persons outside the U.S. the source code of a short encryption program he had written, he would have to register as a munitions dealer and obtain an arms-trading license. One issue raised in the appeal is whether the government's export controls amount to an illegal prior restraint on speech. The government's response: "The regulation doesn't stop anyone from speaking, including Professor Bernstein, except on the Internet." No matter who wins the appeal, the case seems certain to be headed for final review by the Supreme Court. (New York Times 9 Dec 97) SREB TO OFFER COLLEGE DEGREES BY INTERNET The Southern Regional Education Board, based in Atlanta, will begin this January to use the Internet to deliver for-credit courses from 50 Southern universities, which will set their own fees and decide what they will accept as transfer credit. The SREB expects to expand its offerings to 1,500 courses. (AP 8 Dec 97) INDUSTRY GROUP ADVOCATES PRIVACY SAFEGUARDS To protect consumer privacy on the Internet without involving "a too-heavy hand of government," the Information Technology Industry Council has adopted a code of conduct asking Internet marketers to voluntarily "limit the collection of personal data to that which is needed for valid business reasons." The ITIC, a computer-industry trade group, says that use of government control "to protect all data equally and without discrimination will limit individual choice, prevent full participation in the global information society, and impose needless complexity and cost." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 9 Dec 97) TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP CAUSING STIR AT CAL STATE Heated debates are taking place throughout the 23-campus California State University system over a university plan to join with corporate partners Fujitsu, Hughes Electronics, GTE, and Microsoft in forming a corporation to administer the system's technology infrastructure and to manage procurement, user help desks, and other activities related to information technology. David J. Ernst, the university administrator in charge of the system's integrated-technology strategy, says the idea was a creative response to state government's refusal to allow the institutions to charge students a technology fee to fund necessary upgrades to the infrastructure. The not-yet-final plan calls for the university system to transfer its $80-90-million annual information technology budget to the California Education Technology Initiative (CETI), which will then borrow money to pay for improvements and be responsible for the resulting debt. Current members of the university's technical support staff will have their salaries paid by CETI. The current campus furor revolves around charges by some faculty members and students that the deal, which provides the companies a ready way to market their wares to the academic community, will give too much control to corporations and thereby change the character" of the university system. But a statement from Cal State officials promises: "Nothing in the proposed final partnership agreement will shift campus authority for academic policies and programs to the partnership." According to the plan, CETI will begin operations in January and continue for at least ten years. (Chronicle of Higher Education 10 Dec 97) SEVEN COUNTRIES UNITE IN FIGHT AGAINST CYBERCRIME U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and counterparts in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom have agreed to work together to police the "new frontier of crime" represented by computers and computer networks. Reno says: "We know now that a criminal can sit in one country and disrupt a computer system in another country thousands of miles away. If we are to keep up with cybercrime, we must work together as never before... Each nation has committed to develop faster ways to trace attacks coming through computer networks so that we can quickly identify the hacker or criminal who is responsible." (AP 11 Dec 97) SUN ACTIVATOR MELTS MICROSOFT JAVA THREAT Sun Microsystems has come up with a piece of software called Activator, which is designed to compensate for any incompatibilities that emerge between the Microsoft version of Java used in its Internet Explorer browser and programs written in the "official" Java language. The Activator program works by scanning a user's computer and automatically downloading Java Virtual Machine software from Sun's Web site if it doesn't find it already installed -- a procedure that "sounds like Big Brother technology," says a Microsoft general manager. A Gartner Group analyst calls the move " a direct assault on Microsoft," and says it likely will succeed because it will make it more attractive for software developers to create Java programs by restoring Java's one-code-fits-all-platforms appeal. (Wall Street Journal 10 Dec 97) NIELSEN PEGS INTERNET USERS AT 58 MILLION A new survey by Nielsen Media Research in cooperation with CommerceNet, based on interviews with more than 9,000 people, indicates that some 58 million adults in the U.S. and Canada are now online. This is the largest number estimate so far of adult Internet usage, and indicates a 15% increase over the 51 million estimated by Nielsen six months ago. Several other market research firms, using older data, have put the number at 35 million to 45 million adult users in the U.S. alone. In addition to overall user numbers, the Nielsen survey indicates that the number of people who've bought something over the Internet has increased 50% in the past six months, to nearly 10 million. More than half the respondents said they'd been online within 24 hours of the interview, and about 20% to 25% of Web users said they go online every day. (Wall Street Journal 11 Dec 97) U S WEST AND TIME WARNER IN BID TO OFFER CABLE NET ACCESS A subsidiary of U S West -- MediaOne Express -- is merging with Time Warner's Road Runner to offer cable subscribers high-speed Internet access. The joint venture will begin operation in the first quarter of 1998: "MediaOne has built the high-speed backbone, and Time Warner has built the content, to this is a complementary fit," says MediaOne's executive VP. The new company, which has yet to be named, will go head-to-head with @Home, which has focused on selling high-speed Internet access and content to cable TV companies. The MediOne-Time Warner entity initially plans to target small and medium-size businesses for its services. (TechWeb 10 Dec 97) AMERITECH AND MICROSOFT TO OFFER HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS Ameritech, the mid-western Bell regional telephone company, is forming a partnership with Microsoft to offer Internet access up to 50 times faster than the standard 28.8-Kbps modems. (AP 10 Dec 97) VANDAL POSTS RANSOM NOTE ON YAHOO A network vandal broke into the Yahoo Web site for several minutes Monday night to post a note instructing the government to release the prisoner Kevin Mitnick, who is serving time for having used phones and computers to break into corporate, government and university computer systems. Although the vandal claimed to have implanted a "logic bomb/worm" on the Yahoo site, no virus was found, and the security breach was discovered and patched immediately. (NYT Cybertimes 7 Dec 97) DO CELL PHONES AFFECT LEARNING? European regulators are taking a hard look at research by University of Washington professor Henry Lai that indicates exposure to microwave radiation hampered the ability of lab rats to learn a maze. Lai found that exposing the rats to 45 minutes of microwave radiation similar to levels that might be absorbed by a typical cell phone user slowed the rats' ability to master the task. The effects of the waves could be ameliorated by pretreating the rats with drugs that target two neurochemical systems in the brain -- the endogenous opioid system and the cholinergic system, leading Lai to propose that these systems are affected by microwave-frequency fields. The Wireless Technology Research Group, an industry-funded group, is now planning its own experiments. Meanwhile, at least one company in Germany already began advertising "low-radiation" cell phones this past summer. (Scientific American Dec 97) Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest!!! Win your very own copy of Recipe Box for Windows 95: All you have to do is send in your favorite Holiday Cookie Recipe to: firstname.lastname@example.org As an example: My favorite and very best Holiday Cookie Recipe. Ralph's Chocolate Chip Diet Spoilers They're Delicious! 2 cups Grade A, unsalted butter 1 tsp. salt 2 cups sugar 3 tsp. baking powder 2 cups brown sugar 3 tsp. baking soda 4 large grade A eggs 24 oz. chocolate chips or M&M candies 3 tsp. Flavor extract (Vanilla, Rum, Butterscotch, etc.) 1 chocolate bar (8 oz.), sweet or bittersweet, grated 4 cups sifted flour 3 cups chopped nuts (optional) 5 cups smooth blended oatmeal* assorted Holiday Colors in sprinkle toppings (optional)** Melt butter slowly under very low heat and fold in both sugars, stir to a creamy smooth texture. Thoroughly but gently stir eggs and flavor extract together using a wisk. In a large bowl, mix prepared ingredients together with flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Fold in chocolate chips and grated chocolate bar. Add chopped nuts (if desired). Roll mixed cookie dough into 3/4 inch balls and place about two inches apart on buttered cookie sheets. A few tips; for a light colored cookie; chill the chocolate chips and add them and the grated chocolate to the batter last. For a chewy cookie; add one more bar of butter. Bar=4oz. For larger, fancy cookies use an ice cream scoop or a cup shaped tablespoon portion measuring spoon.For effect, granulated sugar may be sprinkled on top of the cookies before baking instead of the colored sprinkles. If chocolate sprinkles are used, add immediately after removing cookies from oven. Also, instead of chocolate chips etc.. and grated chocolate, candied fruits may be used. However, they must be diced and used sparingly. Omitting all added goodies (chips, candied fruits, chocoates, sprinkles etc.) and using only the genuine flavor extract (no imitations) of your choice and topping with granulated sugar will yeild fantastic holiday sugar cookies. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes approximately 100 cookies (recipe may be doubled or halved as desired). * Measure oatmeal (not instant) and blend in a blender until a fine, silky powder. ** Sprinkle colored candy toppings on cookies about 15 seconds before done. STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. 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(STR, STReport, CPU Report); z maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. z offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. z presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. z is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 15% Holiday Discount for Month of November. Apple/Mac Section Randy Noak, Editor Randy?? Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view From Frank's Desk If you're a regular reader of this column, you may have noticed that I had no contribution this week and you will no doubt notice my contribution this week will be quite small. For a change I have a better excuse than too much overtime at work, feeling under the weather or working too hard on home projects. Here it is: Birth Announcement Frank and Denise Sereno wish to proudly announce the birth of their son, Nathan Dale. He was born Wednesday, December 3rd at 7:59am. Nathan weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and measured 19-1/2 inches long. He was welcomed home by his brothers, Jeremy and Timothy. A picture of my three sons (just call me Steven Douglas) is online at http://www.uti.com/~fsereno More pictures are sure to follow! And if I wasn't clear enough above, I am the daddy of this most special bundle of love and joy. (new STReport Staff Member) In the News Personalized E-Mail Videos from CyberSanta Here's an idea that's time may have come. Send an e-mail to CyberSanta at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little info about your kids and their Christmas lists, and he'll send a personalized video e-mail for your children. This free service requires no special equipment other than a PC. Bernie J. Sharpe has been playing Santa in the Toronto area for 37 years. He decided to get into e-mail greetings last year and had more than 100 requests per day. Now with VideoLink Mail from Smith Micro Software, he can add sound and video. The video message is attached to a normal e-mail. Because the viewer is built in to the attached file, recipients need no special software to enjoy the video greeting. The CyberSanta v-mail greeting sure sounds like a great way to spread holiday cheer and excitement! LEGO Island Is Holiday Season's no. 1 Selling Children's Software Title Innovative CD-ROM Praised by Critics - Pursued by Parents and Kids NOVATO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--December 10, 1997--Virtual LEGO bricks have turned into gold for LEGO Island, the only kids' title among the top 10 best-selling software games according to PC Data's just released October statistics. Created and published by leading software publisher Mindscape under an agreement with the LEGO Group, the high-action fantasy adventure and build game became a best-seller in its first week, according to Computer Retail Week (11/17/97). In addition to booming retail sales, LEGO Island has received extensive critical acclaim. Family PC magazine's family testers named it the top- rated virtual toy in the December issue. Family Life gave it the "Critic's Choice" award, and Home PC's kid testers gave LEGO Island their "Reviewer's Choice" stamp of approval. LEGO Island is the first CD-ROM game from the classic toy company. It introduces kids ages 6-12 to a LEGO world complete with dangerous missions, white-knuckle races, and more than 35 colorful characters. Released worldwide in four languages, LEGO Island is available in software, toy, and other retail stores for an estimated street price of $39.95. The Mission on LEGO Island Players are introduced to seven main characters: The Infomaniac, the host and helper; The Brickster, the Island's bad guy; Pepper, the skateboarding pizza delivery dude; pizzeria owners Mama and Papa Brickolini; and on-the-go constables Nick and Laura Brick. Players explore LEGO Island's 3D environment through the eyes of a LEGO character -- building vehicles, racing LEGO cars and water jets, riding bikes, and meeting Island residents. LEGO Island's ultimate challenge comes when the Brickster escapes from jail and proceeds to deconstruct the Island brick-by-brick. Players must use imagination and problem solving to help the police catch this mischief-maker. The LEGO Group is 100% privately owned by the family of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and today the group employs almost 9,000 people in 50 companies throughout 29 countries. LEGO products are sold in 60,000 shops in 133 countries around the world, and has established itself as one of the leading brands in the toy industry. Since 1947, over 191 billion LEGO elements have been molded and more than 300 million consumers all over the world have bought LEGO products, which are so durable that they are passed on from one generation to the next. Over time they have achieved a reputation for being among the most creative toys in the world. "Only the best is good enough" was a motto introduced by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen in the thirties. Quality and attention to detail is still the main focus of the LEGO Group, both when producing the LEGO toys, and when entering into new business areas. Mindscape, Inc., is a leading developer and publisher of consumer software for the home, entertainment, education, and reference markets. Mindscape is headquartered in Novato, CA, with offices in Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Founded in 1980, Mindscape is part of Pearson, plc, the international media group based in London, which focuses on the information, education, and entertainment markets. Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com Outpost II Divided Destiny Windows 95 CD-ROM Street Price: $49.95 Kids to Adults Sierra Bellevue, WA 98007 www.sierra.com WIN 95 Program Requirements Pentium 60, 16 MB RAM, SVGA, 640 x 480, 256 colors, mouse, 2X CD-ROM, WIN compatible soundcard, DAC required. Supports modem play. Sierra's Outpost II is a truly fun game to play. It follows the story of two futuristic groups of former earth inhabitants starting colonies on a new planet. Players battle their opponents and the planet's freak natural disasters. Many problems arise and the conclusions are usually solved with laser fire. Advancement in the fields of science will help you to increase your population or make new forms of destruction to deal with your opponents. Plenty of smarts and hours of gameplay will be needed to truly enjoy this simulation. The story begins as the Earth ends. The planet as we know it has basically been wiped clear of all its resources so the remaining group of people leave on a spaceship to find a new planet to live on. They eventually find a suitable enough atmosphere and climate and begin to colonize. This is when the colony divides. The majority of the colony want to manipulate this new planet to make it more like Earth. However, a select group would rather coexist with the planet and not alter it. The colonies break up into the Eden and Plymouth colonies. The Eden colony wants to continue to alter the planet but they are worried about the Plymouth mutineers. The Eden colony has severed ties with the Plymouth colony and still plan to alter this planet as they wish. Things go out of hand and eventually Eden's tampering goes berserk. Disasters including volcano eruptions, meteor showers, tornadoes, and earthquakes plague the planet and both colonies as a result of their altering. These catastrophes force the colonies to regroup and scavenge for new resources often. There are two colony games to choose from. One type is to build up large amounts of materials and a population then travel back to your ship before a true disaster occurs. The other is to just simply build a large population. These game types are available for both colonies and give you three difficulty types and many obstacles. There are also modes which follow each colony from the start of the problems through twenty-four unique levels. Each level will require you to use different tactics and strategies to complete your missions. You will often relocate your group and use research to invent new products or improve them. Of course you can also play multiplayer which allows you to work cooperatively or competitively. Scientists and workers are basically the key to this game. While every vehicle and some of the one hundred and forty buildings work independently, workers and scientists are frequently needed to run most of them. Workers are used for the factories and a lot of other structures. Scientists are used for lab research and a number of buildings which require one or more. If there are no available scientists or workers, the shorthanded edifice will not work until some are available. It will eventually shut down if not used. The way scientists and doctors are produced is by childbirth. Everyone is at first a worker, however they can attend a university to become a scientist. Here is an example of how problem solving is used in the game: There are four workers available to attend the university and become scientists. You have a total of six scientists currently and the university requires two scientists to operate. You would like the six to research a topic that would decrease the amount of time it takes to train workers to become scientists before they actually train them. However, you do not want to wait too long because soon the workers might die or have to work somewhere else. Consequently, if you train the too many workers to become scientists, and a worker dies, you will be short for workers. Situations like this arise often in the game. Outpost II combines strategy, war, and disaster simulations to create a really fun sci-fi ride. The plot and gameplay keep you entertained. The different ways to play and interact with the colonies make this game fun too. If you are in search for an out-of-this-world simulation, take a look at Outpost II from Sierra. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. 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On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming MetaCreations Ships Bryce 3D New Version Integrates Animation and Cool Atmospheric Effects Carpinteria, Calif. - December 10, 1997 --MetaCreations Corporation(Nasdaq: MCRE) today announced it is shipping the much anticipated Bryce 3D. For professional graphic artists, web designers, game developers and loyal Bryce fans, this version is set to expand the horizon of 3D image creation by adding the ability to easily add animation and atmospheric effects to a scene. Once a product that created compelling natural and surreal 3D worlds for the print world, Bryce 3D will now produce broadcast quality 3D motion graphics that can be saved as AVI or QuickTime movies. When immersed inside Bryce 3D, graphic artists will find new animation controls that allow any property such as atmosphere, objects, imported 3D models or terrains to be animated. With Bryce 3D, artists can literally "move any mountain" and command clouds to roll by as twin suns set on an alien horizon. Any imported 3D model or object can be laid down on a geometric ribbon-like path with no time value associated to it, creating unique 3D animations. All the new animation and effects features will be made possible in Bryce 3D by the hierarchical grouping of objects and events via keyframing. "Bryce has come full circle from creating breathtaking natural 3D worlds and abstract still scene files to fully navigable 3D interaction," said John Wilczak, President and CEO of MetaCreations. "This release of Bryce 3D will integrate powerful animation and file support, but retain its elegant, easy-to-use interface that we're so well known for. It's a true victory for 3D artists and animators -- both professional and the serious hobbyist." Artists will be able to simulate real-world camera motion with a choice of several movement modes. Rotation, curves, dips and fly-over motion commands will be easily implemented in Bryce 3D. The new keyframe animator will offer full velocity control over each object's timeline, setting the keyframes to fit each adjustment. All motion paths in Bryce 3D can be edited, saved as presets and imported or exported. The Materials and Textures palette will include a vastly expanded and updated library including: z Sky and Fog settings with extended choices. z New Hyper Textures that add volumetric properties producing penetrable atmospheres that objects, cameras or lights can move through. z Moons with actual lunar map textures; phases of the moon from waning to waxing and optical effects for lunar and solar eclipses. z Customized random star fields for unlimited choices of star patterns. z Rainbows that simulate actual water vapor refractions. z Infinite slab in the primitives palette creates an infinite plane, scaleable in depth, width and breadth allowing any volumetric property or texture to be applied. A benchmark of Bryce 3D is its unique high quality output and ease of use that has not been reproduced in any other application. Bryce 3D will offer increased speed, performance and productivity with its advanced raytracing renderer and a shaded animation/still frame preview that takes advantage of Direct X5, Open GL, and a proprietary software acceleration application developed by MetaCreations. Import File Formats DXF, 3DMF and OBJ import allows Bryce 3D to import simple polygonal models from programs like Poser and Detailer while maintaining their texture map. This feature pushes Bryce beyond the realm of just a landscape renderer. Compatibility Users can save images and animations in the most popular formats: Tiff, PICT, BMP, QuickTime and AVI. Pricing & Availability Bryce 3D is available now for Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh on one hybrid CD-ROM. MetaCreations also plans to make Bryce 3D available for DEC ALPHA in the future. Suggested Retail Price is US $299; Upgrade Price to registered users is US $99. Customers may call 1-800-846-0111 for more information. System Requirements Macintosh: Power PC processor, Mac OS System 7.1 or later, 16 MB of available RAM, 50 MB of free hard drive space, CD-ROM drive, 16-bit video and color display. Windows: Pentium or Pentium Pro-based processor, Windows 95/NT 3.5/NT 4, 16 MB of available RAM, 50 MB of free hard drive space, CD-ROM Drive, 16-bit video and color display. MetaCreations Corporation, the visual computing software company, designs, develops, publishes, markets and supports software tools and enabling technologies for creating, editing and manipulating computer graphic images, digital art and web content on the desktop for both professionals and consumers. Working with distributors in North America, Europe and Asia, MetaCreations professional and consumer software is available in more than seventy countries. # # # Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" It's really been one of those weeks, folks. Nothing seemed to go as I planned most of the week. I don't know if there's been a full moon this week, the wackiness caused by a frantic Christmas shopping fervor, or what. I usually have my editorial comments all set prior to my going over the column for a final check. This week, I'm sitting here long past the time I usually have a week's column ready and sent out. So, rather than fall asleep at the keyboard typing up what I was going to talk about this week, let me just say that this week's column is pretty interesting, especially if you like to follow gaming news. It's getting closer and closer to the new year, so in all of your scurrying about doing last minute shopping - play it safe; we want you all to be around when we move into 1998! Until next time... ST+ As from Issue 25, ST+ (due for release on the 7th of February) is changing format to an A5 paper based ATARI Fanzine. The people responsible for putting the diskzine together every month for the last two years see this as a progressive step forward. As always ST+ will be released regularly on a 4 week basis. Subscriptions will not be asked for or accepted, this is a pay when you want it publication. The cost for the fanzine will cover the production of the pages and postage; there will be a guaranteed 20 pages each issue. It is felt that the page count would never go this low, but will fluctuate from issue to issue, thus a minimum page count has been decided upon. The price is set at one pound per issue. If reproduction costs can be cut then the price will lower. But should not rise above the 1 ukp mark. I think it goes without saying that this is a hobbyist venture and not one single person will make any money from it, not the producers or resellers... T.U.S. - ALIEN TECH - TITAN DESIGNS - and many other commercial companies as well as Goodmans, Floppyshop and ATARI Computing all advertise in ST+ Diskmagazine; it is hoped that these companies will take up the offer of FREE advertising in the all new ST+ Fanzine. If you have an advert then let us know now.. Reader/User input is of course hoped for; the page count is guaranteed no matter what.. But if we can get you the reader to offer articles and reviews, then they will be printed and the page count simply goes up.. For more information why not pop along to the ATARI ST+ Fanzine web pages: http://www.users.zetnet/paxton/stp/index.html These are separate from the ST+ Diskmagazine web pages where support of the current and back issues is and always will be available. Every issue of the ST+ Fanzine will be published as an HTML file on the ST+Fanzine web pages, but exactly one month after the paper issue is released. Information posted By Tony Greenwood. I will be a contributor to ST+ and will also run the web pages. For editorial policies and anything related to the actual ST+ Fanzine you must contact the editor Dave Hollis... email DHolli00@allatsea.demon.co.uk Gaming Section PSX Sales! "CodeWarrior"! Midway Releases! Best Bets! "Spawn"! And much more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! I'll be real brief just to say that this week's issue has lots of interesting news. If you're looking for holiday gift ideas for your favorite gamer, there are a lot of tips throughout this column. It's easy to tell that the holiday rush is upon us! <g> Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Nintendo Sets New Entertainment Sales Mark with Diddy Kong Racing REDMOND, WASH. (Dec. 10) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 10, 1997 - Setting a popularity standard unequaled by any movie studio, television network or record label, Nintendo of America today announced it will end 1997 with five "million-seller" software titles, a first-ever for the industry in a 12-month period. Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64 already has become the fastest-selling game in U.S. history, recording 800,000 units sold in just its first 14 days of availability. Within a week it's expected to join Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Mario Kart 64, and Goldeneye 007 as 1997 million-selling games. These titles join the list of million-sellers Nintendo's already realized since the 1996 N64 launch, including Cruis'n USA, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and Wave Race 64. By comparison, no other publisher of either console or pc games is expected to finish the year with even a single million-seller to its credit. "If you look at revenues being generated and what kids are begging Santa and their parents for, you'll find video games are the strongest category of entertainment in demand this year," says Peter Main, Nintendo's executive vice president, sales and marketing. Main notes that 32/64-bit video game industry dollars as a whole are up more than 151% and Nintendo 64 retail sales are up more than 463% this year compared to last year, which alone was a burgeoning year with the Nintendo 64 launch. Ten separate polls done by independent organizations this year list Nintendo 64 as a 'gotta have' gift. The surveys have been done by groups ranging from American Express and Duracell, to the National Institute of the Media & Family, and Kaybee Toy Stores. "We've seen some mega-hits come through here, but nothing like the demand for Diddy Kong Racing," explains John Sullivan, vice president, divisional merchandise manager, Toys 'R Us. "It's gone beyond our wildest expectations." In tracking sales trends, only one in every 200 or 300 games ever achieve million-seller status. Nintendo's five million-seller games are expected to gross more than $300 million in U.S. sales alone. PlayStation Game Console Sells More Than One Million Last Month FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Dec. 8) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 8, 1997 - Due to Extensive Game Library, PlayStation Is First Next Generation Videogame System To Break Million Month Barrier; December Sales Expected To Eclipse Record Breaking November Sales of the PlayStation(TM) game console exceeded even Sony Computer Entertainment America's high expectations in November. The company announced that it sold more than one million new units in North America last month, an unparalleled rate that once again demonstrates the PlayStation brand's dominance of the burgeoning $5.2 billion videogame industry. "We knew that PlayStation would lead the competition in holiday sales, but explosive growth in such a short period of time surpasses even our most optimistic predictions," said Jack Tretton, vice president, sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "This milestone clearly demonstrates what a broad library of high quality games can do for videogame console sales. With every major retailer in America continuing to report phenomenal sales, all indications point to December shattering the previous month's record-breaking results." Reports from retail outlets throughout North America indicated that from Nov. 2 through Nov. 29, PlayStation game console sales reached an all-time high of 1.01 million units in 28 days. Sales of game titles also soared during that period, with more than 5.14 million first and third party games sold -- providing a tie ratio of more than five games sold for every PlayStation game console sold. In fact, at the top ten retailers, the PlayStation game console outsold its nearest competitor by a margin of 1.3:1 during the month of November. Breaking the one million unit mark in 28 days shows a significant increase in popularity of what was already the leader in the next-generation video game industry. The PlayStation game console was launched in North America on Sept. 9, 1995 and by end of November 1997 Sony Computer Entertainment America had sold approximately 6.38 million PlayStation game consoles. With more than 300 titles available, including titles in every genre, Sony Computer Entertainment America can credit its extensive library for helping to drive up the popularity of its game console. Adding to its broad library, the PlayStation brand recently released a series of new front line titles for the holiday season, including Final Fantasy(R) VII, NFL GameDay(TM) '98, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back(TM), Bushido Blade(TM), Parappa The Rapper(TM) and Intelligent Qube(TM). Midway Ships Two Nintendo 64 Home Video Game Titles CHICAGO (Dec. 8) BUSINESS WIRE - December 8, 1997 - Midway Maintains Leadership as Nintendo 64 Third-Party Licensee Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) announced that its home game subsidiary, Midway Home Entertainment Inc., today shipped to retailers two new Nintendo(R) 64 home video game software titles, Mortal Kombat(R) Mythologies: Sub-Zero(TM) and The NHL(R) & NHLPA(TM) Present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey(TM) '98, for sale to consumers on Thursday, December 11th. With MK Mythologies and Gretzky '98 marking the Company's ninth and tenth Nintendo 64 (N64(TM)) offerings, Midway maintains its position as the leading third party licensee of software titles for the popular N64 platform. MK Mythologies, introduced on October 10th for home game play on the Sony PlayStation, ranked eighth in terms of units sold for the month of October according to the NPD TRSTS Video Games Service October report. MK Mythologies, the first Mortal Kombat adventure game developed specifically for next generation systems, features a mix of 2D and 3D elements and a fresh in-depth storyline that embellishes the ongoing Mortal Kombat saga. This all-new action-adventure game is the prequel to the events featured in the first three Mortal Kombat games. While most of the action takes place in true Mortal Kombat style, MK Mythologies incorporates features found in role playing games and adds new moves, such as climbing and crawling, that enables a Mortal Kombat character to traverse various environments. Since the first game was released in 1992, the Mortal Kombat franchise has become a multi-billion dollar entertainment phenomenon. The first three coin-operated arcade games have collected over one billion dollars worldwide, and over 15 million Mortal Kombat home games have been sold. The first Mortal Kombat movie generated over $100 million and the recently released sequel, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, opened November 19th as the number one film in the country. Gretzky '98, the eagerly awaited sequel to the "great one's" 1996 top-selling hockey video game, which was honored by GamePro Magazine as the "Best Sports Video Game of 1996," stars hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, and features all 26 NHL teams, team logos and uniforms and NHLPA players including player names and physical likenesses. Like its predecessor, the game's spectacular graphics engine reflects the design team's two decades of work on high caliber, coin-op style hardware systems. The hockey players, ice rink and arenas in Gretzky '98 were created by using motion capture, 3D animation and texture mapping for a realistic sports experience. Spawn Rises from the Dead FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Dec. 9) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 9, 1997 - Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced that video gamers will have a chance to "go to" Hell through the personification of the comic book "hero" Spawn(R), in their new PlayStation(TM) video game, Spawn(R): The Eternal(TM). Spawn: The Eternal, an action-adventure fighting game, unites videogame players and comic book fans in the world of Spawn - a world that could only be created on the PlayStation game console's CD format. The huge levels and eerie soundtrack immerse players in the first videogame to faithfully capture the look and feel of the highly successful comic book, Spawn, by Todd McFarlane. Spawn: The Eternal has a total of 18 levels divided between three distinct time periods, and eight levels in the Tower of Hell. Each time period has its own unique Spawn character and theme. In the game, the player guides Spawn through a graphic adventure and along the way fights various characters from the comic book - including Violator(R), Vandalizer(TM), Vaporizor(TM), Tiffany(TM) and others as well as many new, original characters created in association with Todd McFarlane - in an effort to make their way to defeat Spawn's nemesis, Malebolgia(R). "My goal in working with the PlayStation folks was to bring Spawn to life in a cool video game," said Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn. "When you play the videogame, you feel like you're Spawn. You feel like you're trapped in his world moving through this visually rich and interactive environment. You beat the hell out of the bad guys as you search out your ultimate foe to try and regain what he has taken away from you. What's cool about this videogame is that it gives Spawn fans an opportunity to become Spawn." Initially, Spawn finds himself in Hell's Orchard, the entry point in Hell. >From the orchard, Spawn will find four paths leading to the Savage Level, the Medieval Level, the Street Level and finally to the Tower of Hell. The path leading to the Tower will be inaccessible until Spawn travels through time to the other three levels and collects the pieces necessary to unlock the seal on the Tower. Once opened, Spawn may move forward into the second phase of the game where he must ascend the Tower. The Tower itself is a winding spiral staircase that has landings at each of the eight levels of Hell. Spawn must successfully complete each level before advancing to the next. Once he makes it to the Eighth Level he will face his soul's keeper, Malebolgia(R), for the game's final fight. The comic book and the toy line based on the comic books characters are the most successful in their respective categories. Accordingly, these hot licenses have been highly sought after and have exploded in a frenzy this past year. HBO broadcast a 30-minute animated series; New Line Cinema released its feature film nationwide this summer and the home video and DVD will release in time for the holidays; Todd McFarlane Toys released a new toy line based on the movie; and, Sony Computer Entertainment America has released Spawn: The Eternal, available exclusively for the PlayStation game console. Console games battle it out for the winter holidays of 1997 UPI Computer Comment LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The people at Nintendo want you to know that the Nintendo 64 is one year old this season. The 64-bit console game system that has a lot of kids salivating this holiday season is already installed in 3.6 million American homes, and Nintendo is betting that it will be installed in a lot more homes come the end of the winter holidays. To influence that decision, Nintendo and its third-party publishers are out with 20 new game titles for the holidays. Which ones are good? We asked the experts. Watching kids play games in a video store is a treat in itself. All those quick reflexes, all that effort that will never be directed at homework. All that wasted time. But kids know almost by the time it hits the shelves which games are red hot and which games are doodly squat. Red hot games for the 64 this season include Diddy Kong Racing, an action-adventure racing simulation that has a lot of young hands sweating. The key selling features of this game are the fast-paced action that involves a lot of highly textured characters and some innovative use of light in projecting the images of things that appear to be approaching you. Another key selling point of this one is "battle mode." Enough said. Console games have always excelled at shoot-'em-ups. And Star Fox 64 is the shoot-'em-up of choice this season for owners and wannabe owners of the Nintendo 64. This game comes bundled with the Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak, a vibrating accessory for the Nintendo 64 controller. It doesn't sound like it would add a lot to the game, but the Rumble Pak really does provide a unique new dimension to the deep space battle you're fighting as the pilot of an Arwing spaceship. Already have a Rumble Pak? Consider Goldeneye 007, a spy adventure-shooter that is Rumble Pak compatible. This one can be played by as many as four people simultaneously, though when you add more than two, there are so many elements on the screen that you can easily get confused. That, however, might actually be part of the charm of the game. If you can't figure out what's going on during play, you're quickly treated to a screen that fades to a blood red and a notice that the game is over. Another of the good games that kids are talking about this season is Bomberman 64. This is the same game that a lot of people have been playing in 16-bit mode, on older console games. But this one is update with 3-D graphics, quicker action and high quality blasting sounds. A nice thing about this one is that you can set the difficulty level to either difficult or hard. And while there are a lot of games out there this year for the Nintendo 64, there are a lot more of them out there for the PlayStation this season. This is Sony's entry into the console game field, and an extremely popular entry, to hear the young people talk about it. One of the things they're talking about this season is Shipwreckers, "an arcade action puzzle game on the high seas where piracy is encouraged, smuggling is mandatory and reducing townspeople to quivering wrecks as you conquer their land is downright fun." The real reason that kids like this game is that the action is quick, and the 3-D graphics are pretty hot. In addition to the usual lightening bolts and flame throwers, this one asks you to solve puzzles along the way. If you don't, well, you wind up in the soup. Sony is out with Steel Reign this season, and of course, it's only for the PlayStation. This is a classic shoot-'em-up, but one with a lot of good action, and one that a lot of kids are playing when they can get to the machines in the toy stores. You start out at the controls of a tank, and set off to destroy armies of tanks, helicopters, missile carriers and ground troops. This has a one-on-one mode, which lets kids take out their aggression on each other without any real blood being shed. JetMoto 2 is a personal watercraft simulation featuring ten 3-D race tracks and an easy set of rules. Kids can pop this in, get to playing, and not have to stop and try to consider what various parts of the game are supposed to represent. It's all just a long, fast water ride, where you can shoot the rapids and not worry about being dashed to pieces on the rocks. Graphics are the big reason that a lot of young people are asking for Discworld II this season. A key difference in this game is that instead of using a lot of computer generated stuff to make the play happen, 25,000 animation cells were put together, the way they are in a cartoon. Eric Idle of Monty Python fame provides the voice for Rincewind the wizard, who is having trouble getting the Grim Reaper to do his job. Eidos Interactive is out this season with three new games that bear the admonition: "You've Been Warned." What you're being warned about is the intensity of the games. And in fact, kids seem to like Fighting Force and Tomb Raider 2. Deathtrap Dungeon is expected to hit the streets in January. You've Been Warned. Hercules didn't have it easy in mythology, and he doesn't get much of a break in Disney's Hercules, a new PlayStation title from Virgin Interactive. This one has the animated character fighting animated villains from the movie, cutting the heads off the Hydra, loosing fountains of green blood, and duking it out with the Cyclops in hopes of coming to live on Mt. Olympus. Hercules is interesting for is tuse of a Z axis, allowing players to move the main character in and out of the background scenery. The things to remember at all times when buying console games for kids is this: buy what the other kids are playing, but make sure you buy for the right platform. A Super Nintendo is not a Nintendo 64. A PlayStation game won't play in a Sega Genesis. Check first, then ask a kid, then buy. Top PC and Video Games Spur Strong Growth for Interactive Entertainment SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the market research firm DFC Intelligence, the interactive entertainment industry will see strong growth over the next year. DFC Intelligence expects that 1997 sales for video and computer games will easily exceed $5 billion. "After several lean years for video games, 1997 has seen a welcome increase in industry sales. The success of the Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 has been even greater than we expected," says DFC president David Cole. DFC Intelligence is forecasting even greater growth for 1998. "We have always said that 1998 would be the biggest year ever for interactive entertainment," says Cole. "Consumer demand is at an all-time high and the quality of the products coming out is exceptional. Entertainment software sales in 1998 should be even greater than they were in 1997." John Withers, of the Rainbow Factory, agrees. "With a high demand and better technology integration, 1998 is going to be huge. But the other side is that companies are going to have to come up with large marketing budgets and more original concepts in order to have a game break out from the pack." On the downside, there are still way too many products being released. The market remains saturated with game titles. To break through the confusion, DFC Intelligence, in conjunction with the Rainbow Factory, is announcing its list of top titles for the fourth quarter of 1997. This list is based on a subjective analysis of an individual title's quality and sales potential. "The titles on this list are the ones that will drive consumer demand this holiday season," says Cole. This list breaks down the top titles by platform and game genre. The top title in each category is listed first. Top Interactive Entertainment Software for Fourth Quarter 1997 Top Overall Title: Tomb Raiders II for PC/PSX(Eidos Interactive) Top PC Action/Shooting: 1. Quake II (Activision) 2. Tomb Raiders II (Eidos) 3. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (LucasArts) 4. G-Police (Psygnosis) 5. Hexen II (Activision) 6. Uprising (3DO/Cyclone) PC Real-Time Strategy/Wargames 1. Ages of Empire (Microsoft) 2. Gettysburg (Firaxis) 3. Total Annihilation (GT/Cavedog) 4. Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor (Westwood Studios) 5. Politika (Red Storm Entertainment) 6. Dungeon Keeper (EA/Bullfrog) 7. Myth (Bungie) 8. Panzer General II (SSI) 9. Dark Reign (Activision) PC Adventure/RPG 1. Blade Runner (Westwood Studios) 2. Riven (Red Orb) 3. Curse of Monkey Island (LucasArts) 4. Lands of Lore II (Westwood Studios) 5. Fallout (Interplay) PC Simulation 1. Flight Simulator 98 (Microsoft) 2. AH 64D Longbow II (EA) 3. Flight Unlimited II (Eidos/ Looking Glass) 4. Wing Commander Prophecy (EA/Origin) 5. Heavy Gear (Activision) 6. Red Baron II (CUC/Sierra) 7. Star Trek: SFA (Interplay) PC Education 1. JumpStart series (CUC/Knowledge Adventure) 2. Reader Rabbit series (Learning Company) 3. Math Blaster series (CUC/Davidson) PC Kids/Edutainment 1. Lego Island (Mindscape) 2. Spy Fox in Dry Cereal (Humongous) 3. Backyard Baseball (Humongous) 4. Putt-Putt Travels Through Time (Humongous) 5. Fisher-Price Great Adventure series (CUC/Davidson) Sports 1. Madden 98 for PC/PSX/Saturn (EA) 2. NHL 98 for PC/PSX/Saturn (EA) 3. NFL Gameday 98 for PSX (Sony) 4. NBA Live 98 for PC/PSX (EA) 5. Madden 64 for N64 (EA) 6. World Series Baseball 98 for Saturn (Sega) 7. Jack Nicklaus 5 for PC (Accolade) 8. NFL Quarterback Club 98 for N64 (Acclaim) 9. Front Page Sports: Ski Racing for PC(CUC/Sierra) 10. Front Page Sports: Trophy Rivers for PC(CUC/Sierra) 11. International Superstar Soccer 64 for N64 (Konami) Racing 1. Moto Racer for PC/PSX (EA) 2. Test Drive 4 for PC/PSX (Accolade) 3. San Francisco Rush for N64 (Midway) 4. Multi Racing Championship for N64 (Ocean) 5. Jet Moto 2 for PSX (Sony) Sony PlayStation 1. Tomb Raiders 2 (Eidos) 2. Crash Bandicoot 2 (Sony) 3. Final Fantasy VII (Sony) 4. PaRappa the Rapper (Sony) 5. Colony Wars (Psygnosis) 6. Castlevania (Konami) 7. Street Fighter EX (Capcom) 8. Bushido Blade (Sony) 9. Nuclear Strike (EA) 10. Croc (Fox Interactive) Nintendo 64 1. Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo) 2. Duke Nukem 3D (GT) 3. Goldeneye (Nintendo) 4. Starfox 64 (Nintendo) 5. Bomberman 64 (Nintendo) 6. WCW vs NWO (THQ) Sega Saturn 1. Sonic R (Sega) 2. Duke Nukem 3D (Sega) 3. Sonic Jam (Sega) 4. Saturn Bomberman (Sega) 5. Quake (Sega) 6. Enemy Zero (Sega) 7. MegaMan X4 (Capcom) Top Titles for the First Part of 1998 1. Banjo Kazooie for N64 (Nintendo) 2. Daikatana for PC(Eidos/Ion Storm) 3. Journeyman Project 3 for PC (Red Orb/Presto Studios) 4. Resident Evil 2 for PSX (Capcom) 5. SimCity 3000 for PC (Maxis) 6. Starcraft (CUC/Blizzard) 7. Unreal for PC (GT) Top PC Hardware 1. Dell XPS D300 personal computer 2. Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro joystick 3. Canopus Pure 3D card 4. Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Racing Wheel 5. Global Village Communication Teleport 56/x2 modem The Can't-Find it Toy for the 1997 Christmas Season FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (Dec. 11) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 11, 1997 - It's official -- James Bond is this year's Tickle Me Elmo. The can't-find it toy for the 1997 Christmas season is Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64. The game, a three-dimensional action game based on the movie of the same name, is too hot to handle. "We can't keep it in the store," said Bob Kelly, salesman at Kay-Bee Toys on Cambridgeside Place in Cambridge, Mass. "Every time I get it in, it's gone within a couple of hours." Faced with this problem, some consumers are turning to non-traditional methods in order to get their hands on what can be nearly impossible to find at the local mall. "Using the Internet can be the best way to obtain items like Goldeneye," said Aaron Day, president/CEO of BuySafe (www.buysafe.com), a centralized network of Web-only stores. "We were lucky," said Day. "We knew Goldeneye was going to be hot, so we stockpiled it before the holiday season. If we receive an order by the 22nd of December, we can ship it to anywhere in the continental U.S. before the holiday hits. And, since we take mostly online orders, they're processed instantly 24 hours a day. It's great for us, and simple for the consumer. We're looking forward to making a lot of people happy this Christmas." Review - MetroWerks CodeWarrior IDE CLEARLAKE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1997 DEC 5 (Newsbytes) -- By Craig Menefee, Newsbytes. In October, Austin, Texas-based software publisher MetroWerks announced v.2 of its respected CodeWarrior integrated development environment and sent me a copy for review. I'm not a programmer but I did find a programmer - a local 14-year-old virtuoso and self-described "techo-geek" - to act as Newsbytes' expert and to critique the package. He loved it but found room for improvement. Just for background, CodeWarrior is a remarkable, cross-platform IDE (integrated development environment) with its roots deep in the Apple Macintosh world. It now runs on both Apple and Intel-based machines and supports a variety of languages, in which programs can be compiled for hardware platforms including Apple, Intel, PalmPilot and PlayStation. It supports the DOS, Windows, Macintosh and Unix operating systems. This is one super-flexible development system. CodeWarror does show its Apple origins. One thing people who work in both worlds will recognize is a highly stylized playfulness in the graphics. You can tell they were created by Mac people on Mac machines; they have a Mac flavor that's hard to pin down but easy to recognize. A more substantial difference is the lack of a context-sensitive help key. MetroWorks says it may add that feature to later editions, and Wintel users will thank them since F1-based help systems have all but replaced printed documentation in many programs. Hitting the F1 key for help does get to be a habit. Like most development systems, CodeWarrior eats up a lot of disk space -- close to 500 MB (megabytes) on the uncompressed 2 GB (gigabyte) DEC GL-2 hardware on which we ran CodeWarrior through its paces. Much of this was "slack," that is, space lost due to the many small files used for programming code and the small HTML files used to hyperlink the on-disk documentation. On large partitions, WinTel machines eat 32KB (kilobytes) for any file, no matter how small. It's a nuisance. Small files make less difference on compressed disks, since slack is scrunched down almost to zero and the reported slack is illusory. Still, CodeWarrior would be better with an installation option to read included HTML and Adobe Acrobat PDF-formatted documentation directly from the CD-ROM. Users without lots of empty acreage on their hard drives may want to think hard about the space requirements. Then again, full IDE installations always take up lots of space and the Newsbytes programming expert loved CodeWarrior. Here -- read his review for yourself: -- By Daniel Pryden, Clearlake, California -- As an avid programmer, I was thrilled at the chance to test out the latest version of CodeWarrior from MetroWerks. After spending four hours playing with it, I have decided I would gladly trade in all the compilers I currently use for CodeWarrior. The first thing you'll notice in the PC version of CodeWarrior is that all compiler functions are controlled by a single menu bar and toolbar. The bar sits along the top of the screen and leaves the rest of the desktop visible. The toolbar buttons are a little hard to figure out at first, but after using them a few times they get easier. The editor windows have a number of features useful to programmers, such as syntax coloring, auto-indentation, and a nifty feature that lets you know which braces and parentheses match up. The package contains compilers for source files in Assembly Language, C, C++, Java, and Pascal. The compilers are, for the most part, very compatible with Microsoft compilers. (Some things, like multiple-derived classes in the C++ libraries, aren't quite the same.) CodeWarrior comes with a MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) implementation to facilitate Microsoft compatibility and to make Windows programming in C++ much easier. In the Professional version, you can target all kinds of platforms, including DOS, Windows, Macintosh, Unix, and even create executables for PalmPilot and PlayStation! This thing's really got it all. The documentation is all in online format, in Adobe Acrobat and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) formats, and comes on a separate CD. The docs say that Internet Explorer is required to view the online books, but I found Netscape Navigator to work just as well. The documentation, taking up over two hundred megabytes, is the most comprehensive of any programming product I have ever seen. The only limitation in the documentation is that I could find no context-sensitive help for the dialog boxes. This is not enough to keep me from buying it, but it would be much nicer if some of the more convoluted tags on options could be explained better. In short, I'd say that this does almost everything any professional programmer would need. I didn't spend as much time on the Java and Pascal portions of the program, but what I saw looked like a very well-implemented programming environment. The verdict? If you do a lot of programming in different languages, this is the package for you. Even if you haven't done a lot of programming, the detailed tutorials in the documentation make it easy to expand into different languages. CodeWarrior is very large, and I would recommend against the "Heaven" install option unless your concept of heaven involves taking up nearly half of a gigabyte of hard drive space. I would recommend the Professional program for anyone seriously interested in programming; while the Discovery version doesn't allow you to compile for all the different platforms, it does make up for it with an extremely competitive price ($79 vs. $499 for the Professional edition). This is one of the best programming tools out there. More information on CodeWarrior and other MetroWerks products is available on the firm's World Wide Web page at http://www.metrowerks.com. Reported by Newsbytes News Network: http://www.newsbytes.com. Gaming Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! Thanks to all of you encouraging me to write some additional articles. After making some changes on my system, I temporarily lost the ability to broadcast messages from my NetMailer software. Today, Alpha Software finally gave me advice I can use and I appear to be up and running again. The biggest news is that you might wish to visit: http://www.l4software.com/ic when The site is self explanatory. L4 Software has agreed to assist me in converting the pages of a long term project I have had into html and host those pages on their site. Feel free to link it if you wish. We hope to enhance the site with more and more information, implement lots of pictures and provide feedback mechanisms. Also, please note a change to my primary e-mail address (established so I could broadcast e-mails again). The new address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to update your databases with this new information. Best wishes for a great holiday and thanks for helping to keep classic computers and gaming alive! --Don Thomas email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. It's been a hectic week for me, so this week's column is going to be rather short. I _have_ received my copy of CAB 2.5 and can honestly say that there is a lot here to warrant upgrading from the previous version. I haven't had the chance familiarize myself with the new features and capabilities enough to write a decent review of it, but I hope to be able to have at least a decent overview for you next week. For now, let's just say that the PPP portion of the software (the part that lets you connect to an Internet Service Provider that requires Point-to-Point protocol) works much better than I expected it to. It requires of a pre-emptive multitasking system (Either MagiC, Geneva coupled with MiNT, or X.AES) to make use of the PPP connection utility, but if you've got any of the above, this is a very good choice for a browser for your Atari. Well, we've looked at the UseNet for the past couple of weeks, so let's look at the message base on Delphi this time, okay? >From Delphi's Atari Advantage Menu You may remember that the last time we looked at what was going on here, Greg Evans was getting ready to upgrade his Falcon with both a Nemesis and an Afterburner. Now he tells us: "Well, the Falcon has been upgraded and everything is working except floppy access. I suspect I have to tweak a resistor somewhere. here's the benchmarks with the 040 running at 40 mhz: NemBench v2.1 - precision CPU/FPU profiler. Integer multiply (16bit) -> 3.657 Mips (~596%) Integer divide (16bit) -> 1.484 Mips (~409%) Linear (stalled) integer -> 39.960 Mips (~501%) Interleaved (piped) integer -> 39.960 Mips (~501%) Float multiply (64bit) -> 8.192 MegaFlops (~3091%) Float divide (64bit) -> 1.095 MegaFlops (~632%) Linear (stalled) float -> 8.445 MegaFlops (~1584%) Interleaved (piped) float -> 13.429 MegaFlops (~2524%) 16bit read (100% hit) -> 79.051 MByte/sec (~1006%) 16bit write (100% hit) -> 11.037 MByte/sec (~183%) 32bit read (100% hit) -> 157.480 MByte/sec (~1003%) 32bit write (100% hit) -> 22.123 MByte/sec (~331%) Linear 32bit read (ST-Ram) -> 4.005 MByte/sec (~75%) Linear 32bit write (ST-Ram) -> 4.000 MByte/sec (~62%) Linear 32bit copy (ST-Ram) -> 2.005 MByte/sec (~62%) Linear 32bit read (FastRAM) -> 42.904 MByte/sec (~807%) Linear 32bit write (FastRAM) -> 21.209 MByte/sec (~328%) Linear 32bit copy (FastRAM) -> 14.200 MByte/sec (~439%) Linear burst copy (ST-Ram) -> 2.244 MByte/sec (~69%) Linear burst copy (FastRAM) -> 24.453 MByte/sec (~757%) Linear burst copy (ST->Fast) -> 4.121 MByte/sec (~127%) Linear burst copy (Fast->ST) -> 4.093 MByte/sec (~126%) Not bad! In practice, it seems the machine doesn't boot up any faster, but the applications fly! DA's Picture, a great package which is almost useless on a stiock or PowerUp Falcon really zips along! I loaded a 26 mb TIFF and zoom from 1:1 to 6:1 is almost instantaneous. having 32 mb of Fast Ram helps. I can't wait to add another 32 and have a 78 mb Falcon! If you're considering this upgrade, find someone you can trust and go for it. It may not work first time, but mine was pretty close. I should have floppy figured out shortly." I tell Greg: "In the words of Boomhauer... 'Tell you what, dang ol' wow, man.' <g> I guess you've got to watch King of the Hill to understand. Congrats on the upgrade. Now you've just got to slow down for the rest of us! <Grin>" Greg replies: "So that's how you spell Boomhauer! Yeah, when I remember I try to watch King of the Hill. I made a slight change to my Afterburner driver configuration and the floppy drive is now working! Thanks for the congrats! And don't worry _I'm_ just as slow as ever...<smile>" I tell Greg: "I'm guessing about the spelling of Boomhauer. It's not like we can check the closing credits or anything, is it? I was pleasantly surprised with King of the Hill. It's certainly a step above The Simpsons, and a whole flight of steps above Beavis and Butthead!" Now, I hope you don't mind, but here comes a bit of non-computer related stuff. "BOBTROW" jumps in and posts: "The KC Star's t.v. guide insert had a story about how long it takes them to prepare a "King" episode. Apparently a season takes about 9 monyhs to prepare an episode. 12 weeks are required for the full animation (done in Korea). It takes 18 months to produce a 22 episode season." Dana Jacobson adds his thoughts: "King of the Hill is a terrific show! It's a cartoon (and I really still enjoy them! <g>), but it's more of an animated comedy than a cartoon. It's just plain fun!" Barry Summer continues: "King of the Hill is really entertaining. The perfect time is following he Simpsons, a real coup by FOX. weeks I think, the show was in the Top 10..pretty amazing." Rob Rasmussen asks: "What is GEMGIF? I haven't been around here lately because my computer was at the shop and couldn't get on here." Greg Evans tells Rob: "GEMGIF is my GEM front-end to the freeware WHIRLGIF.TTP program which craetes animated GIFs. GEMGIF (also freeware) lets you run WHIRLGIF without having to create a script file in advnace and without using command line options. It's on my web page: people.delphi.com/greg_evans" When Dana Jacobson posted a 'happy thanksgiving' message, Tony Greenwood tells him: "Sorry but "All" ATARIans don't celebrate or even know what thanksgiving is!!!" But having watched the most excellent comedy show "Third Rock From the Sun" on Thursday night, I have been enlightened, Pity we don't have it here...I always enjoy a good 'Pig out'." Dana tells Tony: "Sorry Tony!! I automatically assume that everyone celebrates Thanksgiving and I neglect to remember that not everyone here is part of that tradition. I can just imagine that "Third Rock..." episode! Too bad it's up against another show I watch - Third Rock is an excellent show! As to that "pig-out", X-mas is coming!! <grin>" Tony tells Dana: "Yep Christmas sounds very simmilar on the eating front, It's the only time of the year we eat Turkey... well most of the country its the only time, and its a general free for all pig out :))...... But you get 2.. you get to practice at thanksgiving then Christmas feasting isn't such a shock to the system.. hmm neat idea." George Iken posts: "I see that Oregon Research Associats has announced they are leaving the Atari business scene. They are liquidating all of their Atari software (theirs and the Hisoft inventory they have) and selling their Atari hardware). The least expensive prices are for their own software (Diamond Edge, Diamond Back, and Datalite) which they are selling for just $5 each plus postage. Bids, orders and inquires can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or Faxed to (503) 624-2940. They are also taking bids on the Diamond Edge and Diamond Back source code. They do have 15 copies of Papyrus (probably version 4) for $84 each (their cost from HiSoft). Other HiSoft stuff is just one or two copies and similarly priced (ie about what you would pay at Systems For Tomorrow)." Greg Evans tells George: "Ouch! That's bad news! Did you find that out on their web page? This obviously means no Termite TCP/IP software. I wonder why they just don't keep selling their stuff? There can't be much overhead to carrying a handful of products, but I gues there are minimum print costs for manuals, etc. which might be more than they want to pay." Dana Jacobson jumps in and posts: "The ORA news was posted by Bob L. on the Usenet. It's a shame, I was looking forward to another competitive Web browser. I hear that the Amiga version is doing quite well." Greg tells Dana: "Maybe ORA will release the code they had developed so far on their TCP/IP stack program. It was supposed to be STiK client compatible." Dana wonders aloud: "I'm wondering why nothing was mentioned in their announcement about Termite (or whatever it was called). I'd guess that unless someone comes forward expressing an interest to purchase the code, it will fade away into oblivion... I don't believe it was vaporware, but the thought had crossed my mind. I believe it's already available for the Amiga market and was being ported over to the Atari. However, there's no way to know how far along ORA was with it. My guess is not too far or they may have waited to get back some return on their investment (time & programming). It doesn't matter anymore, though." Greg Evans tells Dana: "What I'd heard about Termite is ORA was having problems running it under single-TOS and getting PPP. Considering PPP-Connect requires MagiC and STiNG is still a no-show on my machine, maybe they decided to drop it if it required MagiC or MultiTos. Too bad, as it was supposed to be compatible with the current internet clients -- PPP Connect requires all new clients, other than CAB." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next time, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Seal Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed light on the question, "Where do pets come from?" And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me everyday. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me." And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself." And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal." And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG." And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail. After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility." And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration." And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility. And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved. And Cat did not care one way or the other. Thanks Binky! STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" December 12, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1349
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